Uncategorized January 5, 2012

Missoula’s Neighborhood Trends, The University Area / Slant Streets

The University area is home to a wide array of older houses full of character and charm.  It’s a neighborhood that’s blended with long-time Missoula residents, families, and students attending school.  It’s actually the area I grew up in, so it holds a special place for me.  The slant streets, aptly named b/c they “slant” at an angle off Higgins avenue neighbor the University area and feature a similar mix of homes but also blends in more houses built in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s as well.  Both neighborhoods largely feature boulevard areas with maple trees that can be found on the historic register in town, many are now over 100 years old!


Starting with 2010 I’m pulling 82 residential sales in this area with a median sales price of $228,500.  Of these 82 sales their average time on market was 111 days.  The median list price was $237,200 which shows that homes in this area which sold were getting exactly 96% of their original list price when selling.  In 2010 there were just 3 foreclosure sales in this area.


Jumping forward to 2011 there were 72 residential sales in the area with a median of $226,750.  The houses that sold spent an average time on market of 109 days.  The median list price was $234,450 showing that the homes which sold were getting 97% of their original list price.  Foreclosure sales jumped up a bit to 8 in 2011.


These numbers don’t come as a big surprise to me mostly because the “top end” of Missoula’s market has been battered for at least 3 years now and the University Area itself has traditionally been one of the more expensive places to buy.  Anyone who lives in this area can attest that finding an 80+ year old home in the U-area for under even $300,000 is still an incredibly difficult task.  The sales reported followed the trend most of Missoula has seen, the lower priced homes (more found in the slant streets and the further southern end of the university area) has pushed the median down.  Volume is slightly down, the median is just a hair lower, this area is almost totally built out and has been for a while so both of those numbers make good sense.   The amount of foreclosures is a slight surprise to me, even though it’s just 11% of the total sales in this area that’s higher than other parts of town which are considered lower income in general per the latest census data.


Pulling the 2011 absorption rates I’m seeing a 12-month trend of 7.33 months of inventory currently listed for sale in this area.  I expect in the next 2 to 3 months that will rise into double-digit figures as the anticipated “spring market” will see many more houses come up for sale in this area.


Looking forward I’m not seeing a lot of changes happening in these areas, the “top end” will continue to struggle and the lower priced homes will move well in a decent time-frame if priced accordingly.  It will be interesting to see if foreclosures keep rising, right now just over 1 in 10 sales in this area are foreclosures, if that rises over 20% then they’ll begin to be a real big factor in this area’s values